When you stepped on a Louisiana college campus as an enrolled student, you likely brought several suitcases, storage bins and random package containers filled with anything and everything you could think of that you might need during your first semester. In addition to physical items, you may have also started the school year with a list of goals that you hoped to achieve during your college career. It typically takes several years to accomplish such goals.

Many issues can arise in the meantime that can throw you off course. You might suffer illness, such as the flu, that impairs your ability to keep up with your assignments or study for a test, which may, in turn, have negative consequences. A big part of your college life may also include the local social scene. If you run into trouble there, such as a traffic stop or DWI arrest, it can not only have immediate repercussions, it can lead to expulsion from school, as well as serious legal problems.

When stress relief activities lead to jail time

Getting together with friends in your free time and having a few beers is not inherently wrong, provided you are age 21 or older. However, situations that get out of hand or place you in a compromising position may winding up causing you to face arrest, and if things don’t go your way, some far-reaching, long-term consequences may occur, such as those mentioned in the following list:

  • An arresting officer is likely going to report your situation to your school administrators.
  • If you attend a school where you signed an honor code agreement, this may greatly affect your standing in a negative way, perhaps even prompting your suspension or removal from the enrollment list.
  • Depending on your major, you may not be able to earn your diploma if the court convicts you of DWI, especially if you are pursuing a career that requires licensing.
  • If the state suspends your driver’s license and you are one of many college students who work off campus to earn income during school, you might wind up losing your job if you have no other means of transportation.
  • Any scholarships you have may be taken away.

Avoiding DWI is as easy as designating a driver who agrees to abstain from alcohol while you and the rest of your friends imbibe. However, even if police pull you over, there are situations that can lead to a DWI arrest even though you did not drink alcohol beforehand. For instance, many cough syrups and mouthwashes contain alcohol as an ingredient, which can register a false positive on a preliminary breath screening device.

Where to seek support

Whether you did consume alcohol or have evidence that the charges against you are in error, you may have a better chance of mitigating your circumstances if you rely on experienced criminal defense assistance in court.